SEFAR Architecture’s ePTFE fabric, TENARA, will outfit two levels of the expanded and redesigned Soho Beach House in Miami, Fla., maintaining the building’s historic charm while adding modern convenience.

DEPEW, N.Y. - SEFAR Architecture’s ePTFE fabric, TENARA, will outfit two levels of the expanded and redesigned Soho Beach House in Miami, Fla., maintaining the building’s historic charm while adding modern convenience.

In collaboration with Uni-Systems, LLC, a manufacturer of mechanized structures and components, SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA fabric provides style, light transmission, durability and protection from severe weather conditions, all in a brand new automatically retractable roofing system.

The Soho Beach House is a world-class private members club, hotel and spa on the site of the historic Sovereign Hotel. Its redesign and expansion required a delicate balance of old and new, as well as a delicate balance of aesthetic and functional requirements in a tourist and hurricane-prone area. SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA product and Uni-Systems’ mechanized application together created an ideal solution for two different levels of the facility. On the first floor, the retractable awning provides cover for patrons and natural light for trees at Cecconi’s Garden, an upscale restaurant. On the second floor, a similar awning provides cover for the Club Bar.

Utilizing framework around each level’s outdoor environment, the Uni-Systems retractable roof drives the folding TENARA fabric with mechanization units, gently unfolding it until it stretches out completely.

TENARA Fabric’s unique ePTFE composition allows double the light transmission of similar materials – 40 percent versus the industry standard maximum of 20 percent. This was a key consideration for the project team, as trees under the fabric roof were specifically chosen from various locations throughout the Miami area and needed to receive a certain amount of light to stay healthy.

In terms of durability and severe weather resistance, SEFAR Architecture and Uni-Systems worked together to make sure both issues were covered. Uni-Systems built a state-of-the-art automated computer weather program, which monitors wind over time and retracts when the conditions are unfavorable without any need for human interaction. At the same time, the cost and unsightly look of sprinkler pipes was spared because the roofing system retracts down to a compressed package of less than 48 inches, the maximum allowed overhang in a building without a sprinkler system.

Due to the success of the retractable awning application, Uni-Systems will be demonstrating the system with TENARA Fabric at the AIA 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition, May 12-14 in New Orleans, LA at Booth #1263.

To see a video of the Soho Beach House retractable fabric canopy, click here.